We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Jeiran Lashai and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Jeiran, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had so many ideas for how I wanted to set up my practice and none of them involved a model where my patients would feel they were part of a factory line up – where they weren’t heard and where I didn’t have time for them. That’s why from the very beginning I started my own practice. It was scary, hanging up your shingle with zero patients and zero hospital or insurance system to help funnel them in as patients. The very first week I had one patient, but then quickly through word of mouth, my day (I had an office one day a week then) filled up and I had to move to a new space. Often times I am the last resort for a patient. They come to me after they have seen several specialists and had a myriad of lab work done and have tried many medications. It takes time to comb through this history and if my assistant or myself knows that someone will have a bigger case, we work to move things around so that I am not rushed and I can ask all the questions that I need. In a traditional model, this patient would only have a few minutes of my time, but the way I have set this up is so that I have a full hour with them, but I have been known to spend up to three hours on the intake if it’s necessary.
What should our readers know about your business?
Initially I was renting a space one day a week in Beverly Hills, within 5 months I had moved to my current location in Los Feliz where I’ve been ever since. Along the way, I started seeing patients at an office in Redondo Beach and in one of the towers at Cedars-Sinai. Not long after, I realized it was too much to be driving all over town, trying to keep track of treatments (this was before the widespread use of electronic medical records) and I had to take some of my equipment and supplies with me. When I had to pullover in traffic to nap in a Target parking lot, I realized that I had spread myself too thin and I didn’t want to practice in a space where I was exhausted. I consolidated back to my Los Feliz location, which has been such a home for me for many years. Before I moved into the space, it had been my mentor’s office, so I’ve been there forever. The COVID-19 pandemic also had to change how I practice. I see less patients in person so that I can continually make sure that the office is clean – both the air and the surfaces. I was lucky that I was able to get enough PPE and supplies in place back in February of 2020. My brother, who lives in Milan with his wife and son called me to tell me what I needed to do to stay safe while Italy was in lockdown. Because he also works in a hospital system, I took it seriously and started gathering everything that I would need to continue to care for my patients in the safest way possible. I had another mentor who gave me 5 masks initially in January “just in case” and a patient who brought in some from when a family member was ill, and those few things made it easier for my practice to survive, because this time last year there were no masks to be found.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is such a weird question to answer right now since we haven’t been to a restaurant in a year! I don’t even know if I’m to the point of fantasizing about that yet. What I really fantasize about is going to a concert and discovering a new band. Someplace like the Troubadour, the Echo or the Wiltern for a show. I think I’d create an experience starting with drinks at the beach – whether from a can or shaker that we could take near the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica or in Venice walking distance from Gjusta so that we could get their brisket Banh Mi to go. I fantasize about that sandwich constantly even thought I don’t eat much animal protein at all anymore. I make excuses to take my kids to the dentist on the west side just to get that sandwich! I’m such a foodie but I’m sad to think that some spots won’t be around anymore once everything opens back up. This has been so hard on all the little places and mom and pop spots. I have to say that one of my favorite cocktails ever is from Majordomo – they make the best, most unique gin and tonic. I would definitely take my friend to the Broad downtown if we were going to have drinks at Majordomo. My favorite sushi is Sushi Sasabune’s Glendale location – my husband and I have been going to the original west side one for over 20 years! Back when it was just a little shack on Sawtelle. I have newly discovered Osawa in Pasadena which has incredible sushi but also some amazing things you would find in an Izakaya in Japan. People watching is always fun at a place like Soho House, it’s very L.A. if you want that kind of people watching experience, but for me I really just like watching what people order in a restaurant. I always have to be reminded not to stare but I’m always looking for what to eat or order next! But Los Angeles has always had so many amazing hole in the wall restaurants, I can’t wait to crawl back through Koreatown and Little Tokyo and Pico Rivera to discover them all!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without any family, in particular my father who was a physician. He was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer when I was getting ready to apply for medical school. It was because of his illness that I found Chinese Medicine instead. He asked me to go and find a way to look positively at his illness. And while there weren’t any positives per se, there was a way of looking at the person and not just the disease so that he was able to continue working, talking, eating until the end. The traditional model had told him to go home and that he would be bedridden and on a feeding tube, and instead he was able to stand on his own two feet, walk me down the aisle and work until the very end. His illness and death was so formative for me, it was devastating, but I am so grateful that I found my passion from it. I absolutely love my job and getting to spend time with my patients. I don’t get the Sunday blues because I am so excited and happy that I get to go into the office on Monday!
Marissa Roseillier Photography for the headshot.